Emotional intelligence is beginning to be recognized as a powerful contributor to business intelligence—“soft” skill or not. I’m all for respecting the intellect, and I’m all for respecting our intuitive feeling mind, as well. I have a book on order called “Descartes Error,” by Antonio R. Damasio. I’m looking forward to reading it, as Damasio studies emotion and the brain.

I realized years ago that there was erroneous rational conclusion in the statement that Descartes made, “I think, therefore I am.” Feelings define our “state” more than thinking. Thinking can trigger the feeling state, but it is feeling that drives our moods, our actions, and powerfully impacts our decisions. It is feeling that, when ignorantly handled, creates dysfunctional cultures and repression and causes lack of self-control and fear.

Our emotions cloud our vision if they are murky. If they are stagnant, we become like a repugnant cesspool over time. Emotion and feeling were meant to flow, just as water and life flows. Water is a symbol for emotion. Emotion is “energy in motion.” Ironically, the less skillful people are with their emotional intelligence, the more volatile, angry, and inauthentic they tend to be.

What are some of the personal and business issues that show up in our lives when we fear and repress our feelings?

* Emotional volatility (Paradoxically, with repression the dam bursts periodically)

* Ineffective communication and tendency toward relationship dysfunction

* High blood pressure and other chronic health issues

* Tendency toward lack of clarity of one’s vision and purpose and the vicious cycles of stress

* Lack of inner peace, confidence

Believe me, this is the short list; there are lots more. It’s more than challenging to be an inspirational leader or to enjoy your work when you are blind to what you “don’t know that you don’t know,” which is limiting your true potential. A big chunk of these unknown factors are our emotional blind spots. These misperceptions are like “cataracts of the heart and mind.” It’s the undercurrent of those stagnant “don’t talk about it” feelings that make them bigger than life.

What I have found paradoxically is that as I address my feelings with respect and use my intellect to cooperate instead of sabotage, I have been able to neutralize a ton of repressed emotional baggage. I also feel more and more passionate and joyful about my life and work, in general. You see, your positive feelings are buried under the cesspool of old repressed feelings.

Clearing up the emotional-baggage misperception turns your emotional flow into a clear pond that reflects calmness and clarity. Understanding the power of feeling to create state—“I am”—has helped me to use my conscious thinking more effectively to stop triggering negative emotion. When we fear something, we tend to run away and not look at it, which ironically allows it to get worse.

Now that I have my intellect cooperating with my anything-but-primitive emotion/feeling, I am not only much more emotionally intelligent; I am more intellectually intelligent, as well. I’m more intuitive, more at ease with myself and my life; more at ease with other people. In fact, I am outright happier now than I can recall ever being in my entire life! Why? Because I honor my whole self and had the courage to ask questions “outside of the box.” Have you ever wondered why we are so conditioned to fear our feelings, considering how ineffective this habit makes us as human beings? Think about it. It makes you wonder.

If you want to be whole—that is, “healthy”—you may want to consider the same. Considering that reports show that our feeling nature, the magnetic energy of the heart, is 5,000 times greater than that of the brain, emotional intelligence is vital.

The energy of feelings is truly and literally magnetic. The question is what is the quality of your feeling, positive or negative? Are you attracting what you want or what you don’t want? Love is magnetic, but then so is fear. Developing an awareness of what feelings are and your ability to manage them with wisdom is the shortcut to exponential instead of incremental personal growth and development—in business and in life.

Author's Bio: 

Valencia Ray, M.D. teaches business owners and corporate leaders how their amazing brain can actually hijack personal power -- not in the abstract, but in the context of integrating business and personal life. Dr. Ray, a board-certified eye surgeon and medical business owner for over 20 years before selling her practice, shares her own life changing process. By sharing her story, she helps others to expand their vision and learn that by living with purpose and confidence, it is possible to have a more integrated, healthier lifestyle – with less struggle, more inner peace and more abundance.

For more information and to contact her regarding dynamic, inspirational keynotes, trainings in collaborative leadership and team building, entrepreneurship and coaching programs, visit her website at http://www.ValenciaRay.com